“The Stache” is the only man for the job in my book……
You’re probably heard the criticism of Ambassador John Bolton by the left that he would not be a good choice to be the next Secretary of State because Bolton was an architect of the Iraq War and a hawk who has little use for diplomacy.
This is completely false. The truth is that Bolton was frozen out of Iraq War planning. This criticism also ignores Bolton’s successful diplomacy as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security to pressure rogue states to comply with WMD treaties and his work as UN ambassador to take strong and meaningful action in the UN Security Council against WMD proliferation and terrorism.
The record shows John Bolton had little to do with promoting the Iraq war or war planning. Check out the State Department’s archive page of Bolton’s speeches, op-eds in 2002 and early 2003. You won’t find anything calling for military action against Iraq.
Bolton was not involved in any decision-making or planning for the Iraq War because Secretary of State Colin Powell and Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage froze him out. As Bolton’s chief of staff, I witnessed this first hand. I remember well how State Department offices were told by Powell’s and Armitage’s staffs not to share any information with Bolton and his staff about Iraq war planning.
Looking back on this, Bolton believes Powell did him a favor. He says on pages 165-166 of his 2007 book Surrender is Not an Option:
I played no significant decision-making role on Iraq policy, because Powell and Armitage largely excluded me from these issues, no doubt fearing that my views would be similar to Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s and not their own. It was the greatest favor Powell ever did for me, utterly unintentionally, to be sure, and my Iraq-related activities were only at the margins of the central decisions.
I believe Bolton’s liberal critics are falsely portraying Bolton as an architect of the Iraq War for two reasons.
First, they want to obscure his successful diplomatic efforts to address cheating on WMD treaties by rogue states. Bolton did this by calling out major violators of treaties to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction like the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the Biological Weapons Convention.